The Green Alliance stated on Wednesday their desire to stay independent of the Santos government, despite many individuals within the party supporting his second round candidacy.
Through a statement released on the party’s website the Green Alliance maintained its independence from the government of recently reelected President Juan Manuel Santos, while firmly maintaining its position supporting peace talks with Colombia’s major rebel groups.
The Party wished to convey, “constructive dialogue with the [Santos] government, without [formal] participation in it,” while “working tirelessly for the country to overcome corruption and clientelism that, just like the war, deteriorates the lives of Colombians.”
The Green Alliance also reiterated its support of the peace process stating, “we will continue to support the dialogues between the FARC and the ELN, with the conviction that it will lead us to a peaceful society.”
Many individuals within the Green Alliance, including both the centrist and Progressive factions, supported the candidacy of Juan Manuel Santos. Both factions stated the peace process as their main reasons, with centrist John Sudarsky stating that the “peace of Uribe terrified us and produced panic,” a reference to Santos’ electoral challenger, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who initially promised to end peace talks with the guerrilla groups, opting instead for a continuation of the war.
Despite the various individual endorsements, the Green Alliance did not officially back either of the two second round candidates at the partisan level.
Ex-mayor of Bogota Enrique Peñalosa, the Green Alliance’s candidate in the first round of elections, placed last taking 8.29% of the vote. Peñalosa’s candidacy caused a divide within the Green Alliance because of ex-President Alvaro Uribe‘s support of his candidacy for Mayor of Bogota in 2011, which he lost.
Peñalosa refused to publicly support either of the two candidates in the second round, while people within his campaign, including campaign coordinator and Senator-elect Claudia Lopez, publicly endorsed Juan Manuel Santos, also highlighting the peace process as the primary reason.
The Green Alliance was formed in 2013 as a merger between the centrist Green Party and the leftist Progressives.